I am studying prayer in a course I am taking right now. I am also in a season of frustration and disappointment with myself, and both of these things (learning to pray and frustration), lead to striving in my relationship with God and in my prayer life.
I was out walking yesterday in a state of striving and frustration when these four words popped into my head “the peace of Christ.” I kind of had a Homer Simpson revelatory moment as all that that phrase means to me flooded over me, and gave me peace again.
It was a Homer Simpson moment because I have spoken on the peace of Christ, written about the peace of Christ, and meditated for months on Colossians 3 that talks about letting the peace of Christ rule my heart, and yet I had forgotten about all that God has done for me, and the peace he provides, which is like no other. To quote Homer, “Doh!!!” I know I am kind of making fun of this moment, and maybe I shouldn't, because it was actually really cleansing, and powerful in a very gentle Godly way. Thank God for God. As I walked along a busy suburban street, I believe he reminded me of the unconditional peace he provides.
For me, nothing compares to God's peace and all that He has done for me - all of us actually. I can do all kinds of spiritual gymnastics, and meditation prayer exercises, but why should I when peace, and so much more, is provided to me through simple faith in Jesus Christ? Some people may mock (I was watching the Colbert Report yesterday and he was mocking the Christian Republican Presidential Candidates for their “Christian” stance on some of the issues) but ultimately, I find incomparable solace in what God has done for me through Jesus Christ. He has given me peace for now, and for eternity. He has forgiven me for running away from his love, over, and over, and over again. He has provided me with freedom from the shit that I choose to engage in that robs me of His peace.
Colossians 3:15 starts with the word "Let" or "allow" or "dip into" the peace of Christ. Am I still going to pray? Yes. Continually, hopefully. Until prayer is like breathing, BUT, I need to approach God with peace, faith, love, and with the confidence that comes from all that he has done for me and provides. In the context of this verse, prayer is allowing - through faith and practice - HIS LOVE, HIS PEACE and HIS WORDS to rule my body, and the body of Christ.
learning to pray: Read Colossians 3:1-17 a few times, …maybe more. More in this in the days ahead.